What is compliance and how does it affect the healthcare sector?

Published: 24/05/2024

Compliance means adhering to industry rules, regulations, and ethical standards. In healthcare, it ensures high-quality service, safety, and efficiency.

In April, our Registered Manager for our Harrogate and our Scarborough and Bridlington Offices, Sam. Received an email following a recent audit from head office. This email advised Sam that her offices have received a Gold Compliance Award from the Franchise Support Centre (FSC).

“The Quality Team is delighted to announce that Bluebird Care Harrogate and Bluebird Care Scarborough, with a compliance scores of 96% and 90%, has achieved the Bluebird Care Gold Compliance Mark. Congratulations on your amazing achievement. You all should be immensely proud of your hard work and collaboration.”

Well, done team! This is an amazing achievement and we are all really proud of you all. We are elated to see you all being recognised for your hard work!

Hopefully you will join us in congratulating the Harrogate and Scarborough Care teams on their achievement.

What is compliance?

In a general sense, compliance means abiding by a set of rules. For your business to function legally, it needs to comply with specific industry standards, laws, regulations, and ethical conduct standards that apply to your business.


What is compliance in care?

Compliance is essential in health and social care to guarantee that the quality of service provided is of the highest standards. When practitioners comply with guidelines, they can provide safe, effective, and efficient care.


Why is it compliance so important in the care sector?

Compliance is important within the care sector as it:

  • Promotes safety – Compliance is crucial within health and social care, to maintain safe conditions for our customers and staff. The compliance guidelines protect individuals against harm, injury, or illness. As a company, we must adhere to guidelines to promote safety, thus minimizing the likelihood of errors and accidents. Compliance ensures the use of the best-practice methods and safety protocols that are evidence-based and verified.
  • Promotes ethical and transparent practice - Each health and social care profession has its own governing bodies that issue standards and guidelines that promote ethical and transparent practice. For Bluebird Care this is, The Care Quality Commission (CQC), they are the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. Compliance with these guidelines is foundational to ethical and transparent practice. When an organisation is compliant, it is easy for customers and staff to trust that services are being executed professionally, competently, and with integrity.
  • Promotes consistency - Compliance also ensures consistency in service delivery. Guidelines often clarify the expectations for care providers, and accordingly, services are delivered with a high level of uniformity. When practices are consistent, customers and staff know what to expect from various providers, maintaining trust and safeguarding against confusion or misunderstandings.
  • Fulfil legal requirements – There are many regulations and legal requirements govern health and social care practices, and non-compliance can lead to serious legal and financial consequences. Adherence to guidelines and regulations ensures that health and social care providers fulfil legal requirements to protect customers and staff, as well as themselves.
  • Promotes innovation - Compliance with guidelines does not limit innovation in health and social care practice. Guidelines constantly evolve to accommodate scientific findings, technological advancements, and community preferences. Compliance with current guidelines helps practitioners explore new methods, techniques, and services while providing the assurance that these innovations maintain the legal and ethical standards of the practice.


What is The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and what do they do for the care sector?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) their job is to make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve. Within this they monitor and inspect services to see whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

When doing an inspection of a care provider, there are five questions they ask. They are at the heart of the way they regulate and they help them to make sure they focus on the things that matter to you.

They ask the following ‘key questions’ of each service.


  • Is it safe? Are you protected from abuse and avoidable harm?
  • Is it effective? Does your care, treatment and support achieve good results and help you maintain your quality of life, and is it based on the best available evidence?
  • Is it caring? Do staff involve you and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect?
  • Is it responsive? Are services organised so that they can meet your needs?
  • Is it well-led? Does the leadership of the organisation make sure that it’s providing high-quality care that’s based around your needs? And does it encourage learning and innovation and promote an open and fair culture?


When conducting inspections the representative will speak to staff and people who use the services provided by the company having the inspection, they observe the care we provide and check the systems and processes that the service provider uses. They may also look at a customers records to see how their needs are managed, following strict rules about protecting their information. 


Following  each inspection, they produce a report and publish it on our website. This is available to the general public to help people chose their care. The reports set out what their findings on each of the five key questions mean for the people who use the service. They describe the good practice they find, as well as any concerns they have. In most cases their reports include ratings to help you understand how good each local service is. Their ratings are as follows:

They will take action if care services are failing to meet the fundamental standards. By using the below actions:

  • Protect you from harm and make sure you receive care that meets the standards you have a right to expect; and • make sure services improve. 6 About us What we do and how we do it The actions we take depend on how serious the problems we have identified are and how they affect the people who use the service. We may do the following.
  • Give care providers notices setting out what improvements they must make and by when.
  • Hold the care provider to account by: - issuing simple cautions; - issuing fines; - prosecuting cases where people are harmed or placed in danger of harm.
  • Limit what the care provider may do for a set time.
  • Place a care provider in ‘special measures’, which gives them a clear timetable within which they must improve the quality of care they provide or we will take further action (for example, cancel their registration).

As regulators and inspectors they can provide a unique view on the quality of health and adult social care in England, helping to share learning and encourage improvement across the sectors. They carry out and publish reviews and specific inspection programmes that focus on particular aspects of health and social care, including:

  • The experiences of certain groups of people; 
  • How different services work together to care for people; and 
  • The quality of particular services, or all services, in an area.


I hope that this information above gives in a small insight into what compliance is, why it is so important to the health care sector and also what The Care Quality Commission are and how they regulate our services and procedures to ensure we are providing the highest level of care for our customers and ensuring a safe environment for both our customers and staff members.